May 4, 2021

Career Navigator News is a monthly newsletter from your Career Navigators, MaryAnne Smith and Nick Wobig.

New to FutureForward™ April 1 - May 4

Michael Klug, Klug Insurance
Suzanne Kruse, Fastenal
Dane Lamb, Kick Marketing
Jim Hoscheit, Miken Sports
Greg Hoscheit, SmoothToe
Ann Diersen, Houston County

Winding Down & Gearing Up

As the school year winds down, we appreciate getting to work with you in bringing experiential learning and career exploration to students. In April, ninth grade students at Houston Public School did job shadows, leaning on Career Navigators for networking with local professionals. In May, we are wrapping up a series of virtual tours for Rushford-Peterson students and mock interviews for Caledonia and La Crescent-Hokah students. Local businesses featured in this virtual tour series are Metz’s Hart-land Dairy, Little Gnome (Spring Grove), Spring Grove Soda, Rushford Foods, Norsland Lefse, and Good Shepherd.

Gearing up to support career exploration and experiential learning opportunities in 2021-22, CTE teachers, high school counselors, and principals are meeting with MaryAnne next week to begin strategic planning. Career Navigators are working through summer and want to provide experiences, projects, connections, and events that will grow your programs. Feel free to share what experiences enhance your programs and how Career Navigators can help.

CNA Pathway Program in Motion

Four students will represent the Bluff Country Collaborative (BCC) in the first cohort of Southeast Service Cooperative’s CNA Pathway Program. Students are submitting a community reference and meeting with their schools’ Workforce Development, Inc. career planner, as one of the partners in the CNA Pathway program. CNA students will meet regularly with MaryAnne throughout the program, including their first job as a CNA. Students have made a commitment of working at least 90 days after CNA certification. It’s very exciting!

For students interested in becoming a CNA, there are other options available. A spring cohort will be open to 16- and 17-year old students who have expressed interest. 18-year old students have a different option. They can apply to work at a skilled nursing facility, get on-the-job training for CNA skills, and challenge the certification test. The skills learned on the job replaces the curriculum, lab and clinicals required before taking the certification test. Encourage interested 18-year old students to reach out with any questions or contact a skilled nursing facility.

Harbor Freight "Tools for Schools" Program

Applications are now open for this program, which awards schools cash prizes totaling over $1 million to 18 outstanding public high school skilled trades teachers and their programs. Imagine bringing such a prize to your school's trade program The deadline to apply is May 21. Finalists are announced July 14, 2021, and the big winners announced October 2021. 

Prizes include 3 grand prize winners ($100,000), 15 prize winners ($50,000).

Who is eligible to apply?

Teachers who teach the subjects of: agriculture mechanics, carpentry, construction, electrical, HVAC, manufacturing, plumbing, transportation mechanics, or welding. (Common thread prize winners share that their students work with their hands, using tools regularly throughout the course of study to build, repair, and maintain.)

Judges are looking for:

Strong evidence of past teaching successes and future innovation, thoughtful and in-depth application, positive data and results, inspirational storytelling, active engagement with learning modules, and passion, creativity, and leadership. (Note: Teachers may not apply as a team.)

BCC Businesses Nominated for Award

Friday, May 14th is the first ever FutureReady CTE Community and Industry Partner of the Year Award ceremony, which will be held virtually from 7:30-8:30am. The BCC had strong representation with five nominees: Gundersen Tweeten Care Center in Spring Grove, Wieser Brothers General Contractors, Inc. in La Crescent (nominated twice), Stinson's Country Style Meats in Houston, and The Wired Rooster in Caledonia.
We are excited to take a moment to show our appreciation for all of our community and industry partners. With all of their support to their communities while balancing the day-to-day operations of their businesses, we sure are lucky and grateful! 
Anyone is welcome to join us on May 14th at 7:30. For more information and to register, click here

BCC Online

The BCC now has a website to showcase our objectives, partners, calendar of events, and a listing of our growing number of industry partners. We are working on getting in touch with these industry partners to get their logo and information on the site. We encourage all partnering businesses in the BCC to fill out the survey (link below) to be added to the website.

We will keep the website updated as new initiatives are being launched and as businesses join us. 

Website can be found at
For businesses that want to be on the site, click here

BCCNavigators on Facebook

Check us out  on Facebook. Send us requests to follow your school and community organizations and events. Career-connected learning takes a village!

Contact Your Career Navigators: 
MaryAnne Smith &
Nick Wobig
We are very excited to have things rolling and look forward to what we can achieve as a collaborative. 
Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

Thank you all, 
MaryAnne Smith: 507-251-4388
Nick Wobig: 507-273-9661
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May 14
FutureReady CTE Community and Industry Partner of the Year Award 
June 3
June 14-17
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